Competition in bit design enhances proprietary design software along with the product line for this year's bits ///

PDC bit design has evolved dramatically from its primitive origins in the early 1970s. Along with the concurrent development of man-made diamond, which resulted in the mass production of Polycrystalline Diamond Compact (PDC) and Thermally Stable Polycrystalline Diamond (TSP or “diamond grit”), the fixed-cutter PDC bit has become the preferred choice 35 years after its first field deployment. PDC bit evolution can be attributed to vast improvement in cutter composition, geometry and distribution. According to one bit salesman who has been around long enough to know, “The industry saw fixed cutters pass roller cones in total market share last year, and PDCs continue to push ahead in share of worldwide operations and in feet drilled.” Besides showcasing the new bit designs for this year, this article also focuses on recent developments in bit-design patent battles, proprietary bit-design software and the innovative solutions spawned by those designs...

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